The skin on your neck doesn't have the same amount of sebaceous glands that your face does, which means it's more easily exposed to the effects of gravity and the environment, dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel explains to Elite Daily. That's why the best neck creams provide plenty of moisture and help to prevent collagen loss, and tend to be a lot richer than regular face creams.
When it comes to shopping for a neck cream, look for ingredients like unicorn root, which has estrogen-like properties that can help counteract the effects of estrogen loss (estrogen loss can significantly affect your skin), or a low concentration of gentle retinols, which, when paired with moisturizers, can provide collagen thickening results. Finally, as Dr. Patel notes, sun protection is essential, as this delicate area is particularly vulnerable to UV damage. The way you apply your neck cream can make a difference, too, she says. Gently rub your cream in an upwards direction from your décolletage to your jawline. "This motion does not pull on the neck skin and promotes absorption as well," she explains.
Dr. Patel warns against using prescription-strength retinols, benzoyl peroxide, and serums with high concentrations of active ingredients on your neck. "Skin care products tend to settle in neck lines, and strong forumulations can cause redness and inflammation in the area of occlusion (where the neck folds over itself) especially when sleeping with the product on you neck," she says.
With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop seven of the best neck creams on the market right now.
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1. The Overall Best Neck Cream For Most
StriVectin TL Tightening Neck Cream Plus is the best-selling neck cream in U.S., thanks to its rich, creamy texture and proven effectiveness. It helps promote tighter, smoother, more even-looking skin, courtesy of the brand's patented technologies like NIA-114, an optimized form of niacin/vitamin B3, and the elastin-rebuilding Gravitite‑CF Lifting Complex. It also provides lots of hydration and helps strengthen your skin's natural protective barrier to prevent moisture loss in the long term. Plus, a little goes a long way, so this one-time purchase should last you a while.
2. Best Splurge
Another incredibly popular (yet admittedly splurge-y) night cream, this NEOCUTIS Neo Firm Tightening Cream helps restore elastin and collagen production, resulting in tighter, plumper skin, while also working to fade discoloration for a more even complexion. Key ingredients in here including firming peptides, exfoliating glycolic acid, and brightening vitamin C, among others. Plus, the clever delivery system prevents the cream from becoming contaminated from your hands.
3. Best Neck Cream With SPF
As Dr. Patel said, keeping our necks protected from the sun is extremely important, so if you prefer to buy your moisturizer and sunscreen in one (as opposed to slathering on a separate sunscreen), go with this multi-use cream from RoC. It targets common skin concerns such as discoloration, dullness, dehydration, and density loss, while providing ample sun protection with an SPF of 30. You can use this rich cream on your face, neck, and chest.
4. Best Prestige Neck Cream With Retinol
You don't want to use a prescription-strength retinoid on your neck, but a lower percentage paired with nourishing, ingredients is a perfect choice to gently brighten and even out your complexion. This neck and décolleté cream from PCA skin does just that: It contains resurfacing retinol, smoothing tripeptides, and grapefruit cell extract, a skin-protecting antioxidant, as well as soothing and moisturizing ingredients like niacinamide, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and allantoin. Slather it all over your neck and chest for clear, firm, even skin.
5. Best Drugstore Neck Cream With Retinol
If you love the benefits of retinol but don't have the budget for the PCA moisturizer featured above, this Olay Regenerist Retinol Moisturizer, which can be used on your face, neck, and chest, is a nice drugstore alternative. It also contains niacinamide and retinol for clearer, more even skin, plus glycerin and dimethicone for smoothness and moisture. This purchase also includes a one-week-amount of the brand's beloved Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer, as an added bonus.
6. Best Neck Cream With Gold
bareMinerals Ageless Genius neck cream contains literal mineral gold, as well as peptides and algae extract, to promote smoother, firmer skin, while lots of plant-derived extracts and oils provide ample hydration. This is pretty reasonably priced as far as neck creams go, especially since it's not from a drugstore brand. It gets really good reviews from Amazon shoppers, too. One person wrote, "This works really well, I've tried so many different face and neck creams and this is the only one I'm repurchasing. Saw amazing results within 6 weeks."
7. Our Expert’s Neck Cream
This Visha Skincare RejuVenating Moisturizer is Dr. Patel's own product, and she formulated it for the neck, face, and décolletage, which she explains are all "areas that lose moisture over time." It contains lots of unique, botanically derived ingredients to improve elasticity, encourage collagen production, and combat dullness, and it can be used just about anywhere on your body. "Amazing moisturizer. It feels like velvet and makes my skin feel velvety," reported one Amazon reviewer.